Co-operative Bank grows business lending by 40%

September 27, 2010

The Co-operative Bank’s prudent business model has enabled it to increase lending to business by 40 per cent.

Since 2007, a period when many of its competitors firmly closed the door to companies wanting to borrow, the Co-operative has lifted business borrowing from £6.2bn to £8.7bn.

Further evidence of the Bank’s sustainable business model and financial strength have supported growth in its corporate banking division despite the economic turmoil include:

  • Doubling the number of regional corporate banking centres from 10 to 20, and
  • A near three fold increase in corporate deposits from £1.4bn to £4bn as businesses continued their ‘flight to trust’.

Neville Richardson, Chief Executive at the Bank’s parent company Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) said: “Our presence in the corporate market has benefited from a strong financial position that has supported growth at a time when our competitors were scaling back.

“We put considerable emphasis into forming close relationships with our corporate and business customers and this has served us well as many businesses have felt abandoned by some of the other banks.

“We plan to capitalise on this success and further strengthen our position in the market.”

The Bank’s consistent approach in lending to companies has helped drive growth of parent company, the Co-operative Financial Services (CFS).  In its latest set of interim results, CFS reported a 34 per cent increase in profits to £109.3m for the first half of 2010, up from £81.4m.  The Bank continued to fund customer lending from customer deposits with a current funding ratio of 110%.

For corporate customers, the Bank offers a broad range of banking services and products and has particular expertise in serving small to medium sized companies with turnover between £1m and £50m.  The Bank is now considering expansion of corporate banking activities, including additional regional centres, its renewable energy team, charities and social enterprise.

CFS was recently named ‘World’s Most Sustainable Bank’, ahead of more than 100 financial institutions from 44 countries across the world, by the Financial Times and IFC, part of the World Bank.

For further information contact:  

The Co-operative Financial Services Press Office
Andy Hammerton
Tel: 0161 903 3835 / 07799 476 977
Email :
Duncan Bowker
Tel: 0161 903 3819 / 07810 756 137


About The Co-operative Financial Services

The Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) is part of The Co-operative Group, which is the world’s largest consumer co-operative with around five million members, over £14 billion turnover, and core business interests in financial services, food, travel, pharmacy and funeral care.  The Co-operative Group has over 5,000 retail trading outlets.

Following the merger with Britannia Building Society on 1 August 2009, the new organisation is one of the largest and well-diversified mutual businesses operating in both retail and corporate markets.

As part of The Co-operative Group, the new business is characterised by its unique ethical and member reward policies and very high levels of customer advocacy.

The combined business has £70 billion in assets, 12,000 staff and nine million customers.  It has over 300 high street branches, 20 corporate banking centres and a major presence in Manchester, London, Leek, Plymouth, Skelmersdale and Stockport. 

It is the only mutual organisation that enables its members to earn financial rewards for the products they hold, as well as giving them the opportunity to have a say in how the business is run.